This year we are celebrating 20 years of the Mind, Body, Spirit exhibitions in Cyprus and in order to fully understand how we got here, we need to cast our eyes back to where it really all began, and to appreciate the amazing work of the founders Anette Martisen and Francesca Pinoni and other facilitators who helped set things in motion, brought it all together and made it happen over the years.
The Human Potential movement exploded across Europe in the 70s and 80s with the search for deeper meaning, enlightenment and new ways of living and being. Many of us travelled to India, Tibet and Peru to visit gurus, teachers and ashrams, to expand our consciousness, and dive deep into transpersonal psychotherapy and learn healing techniques.
In 1986 I came back from a meditation retreat in a Tibetan monastery with Ram Dass and intuitively felt a calling to create something new in Cyprus. Together with a small group of like-minded friends, we set up The Aquarian Gathering in Nicosia, the first of its kind, offering lectures, workshops and meditation and unbelievably we had 2000 visitors. It was a milestone, which planted many seeds. I also met Francesca Pinoni at that time, who later teamed up with Anette Martinsen to create the first Mind, Body, Spirit exhibition in Cyprus.
In 1990 we invited Deepak Chopra to do a workshop, which was attended by 500 people, after which, he taught 90 people advanced healing techniques in my house. That was a huge catalyst for change and a wake-up call. I went off to New Zealand to study the first Maharishi Ayurveda Medicine course for westerners created by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and Chopra and later moved to Paphos to set up the Surya Centre, for Ayurveda, Healing and Yoga.
Fast forward to 2001, when Anette and Francesca met at a yoga class and found they had common interests in self-development and natural therapies, both wanted to create an event to raise consciousness and bring like-minded people together. Their first MBS was in Limassol in 2002, followed by one in Nicosia, both were successful and continued with exhibitions taking place twice a year. A lot of deep work, soul searching and connections were initiated from the exhibitions, and we danced, drummed, played crystal bowls, chanted and meditated together.
Year by year things evolved, new people joined, the interest in yoga and natural therapies grew and some people left, to follow their callings as is the natural order of change. Anette stepped back in 2011 after having a powerful vision in a workshop I did on Abundance and Manifestation. She moved to London to follow her dream and is now a successful award-winning actress, writer and filmmaker. Different people stepped in to assist Francesca until she too stepped down to continue her passion for art, which she always loved.
Marilena Angelides fully took over the helm in 2013, she had already been a regular presence from earlier days and loved the spirit of the exhibition. She too had a vision and wanted to invest her time and energy to reach more people and attract in a younger audience and expand the whole concept of the MBS. With a precious background in advertising and branding in the corporate world, she could envision many of the benefits she could now bring, the time for change was ripe and ready. So she took the plunge and left the corporate world, and with the assistance of her team, transformed the MBS from an exhibition into a festival, with the addition of local and international retreats, excursions abroad, new seminars and workshops, bringing in a fresh spirit, a more festive energy, which is most certainly needed now.
In 2022 a new chapter began with the MBS website, which developed a platform for healers, coaches and therapists to exhibit their work as well as giving the public access to events, classes, workshops, trainings and more. Many more surprises will be forthcoming in next few months as the MBS continues to expand and move forward.
The next MBS festival in Limassol is on November 19th -20th 2022, we invite you to join us.
*Maggie Erotokritou is a Visionary, Intuitive Healer and Feng Shui Consultant. She offers energy clearing and healing sessions, for individuals, homes and businesses and runs workshops and meditation retreats. She is the author of 3 books and writes a blog on Facebook and Instagram.